Tag Archives: originals

LVU Super Saturday: Two Hits and a Miss (on our part)

After a wild and mostly wonderful October, I looked to Saturday as a big day. Through weddings, birthdays, and the Cubs’ epic World Series championship run, October was a very busy month that required a lot of weekend participation in my personal life.

I looked to Saturday, however, as a chance to get back to basics. I knew about plenty of great things happening in the Valley, and my goal was to get out on the scene. I did just that — even if I got off to a slow start.

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Artist Q&A: Jordyn Kenzie

Photo credit: JordynKenzieMusic.com

Jordyn Kenzie is a performer with a blindingly bright future. At just 16, she has opened for national touring acts and has captured the Discover Lehigh Valley Discovered Artist of the Year Award at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards.

Jordyn took a few minutes out to chat with us about those experiences, and to provide a brief glimpse of what the future holds.

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PHOTOS: Pearly Baker’s Open Mic, Hosted by Carter Lansing

I love open mics. I love the fact that they give you the opportunity to hear a small sample size of multiple artists in the same night. I also appreciate what the open mic represents: newcomers and music scene veterans, coming together to hone their craft.

Everyone out here on the music scene (and, well, any music scene ever) is a creator. We want to find ways to share our creations with the world around us, even if it’s just a few people at a time. Whether sharing originals or rather interesting covers, musicians need an audience. The open mic gives them that, often in an intimate setting.

This was the case at Pearly Baker’s in Easton on Thursday night, as a showcase hosted by Acoustic Kitty Project’s Carter Lansing yielded some relaxing acoustic tunes in a variety of styles to start the weekend early. Check out a few black-and-white shots (and forgive all the shadows — the dim lighting adds to the ambiance at Pearly’s).

PHOTOS: The Fourth Annual Slatington Bike Night

Last Saturday was a beautiful day for an All-American good time. That’s what Slatington Volunteer Fire Company provided its town’s residents with the fourth annual Slatington Bike Night.

This “night” actually began at noon, and featured food, beer, vendors, bikes, cars and, of course, music. Our friends at The Fyre & Ice Show put the day’s entertainment together, with five local bands rocking a blend of covers and originals throughout the day. First up was Wicked Beaver, who featured a setlist of familiar classic rock hits to get things warmed up.

Next, Bethlehem-based Eighteenth Hour came to the stage, switching things up and turning heads with their well-crafted rock originals.

By the time Eighteenth Hour concluded, it was the middle of an laid-back weekend afternoon. Our musical lineup had just the thing for such a relaxing atmosphere: father-daughter duo AVYLON, who came through with some new originals and a jukebox of covers.

Crowds had begun to gather in larger numbers as AVYLON’s set went on. While this was, no doubt, because of the duo’s acoustic stylings, it was also due to the fact that the ever-popular CA/CD — an AC/DC tribute band, as you might guess — was up next. The band’s renditions of songs like “Thunderstruck” and “Dirty Deeds” were on-point, as was its onstage presence throughout the set.

Finally, as night has begun to creep its way into Slatington Bike Night, those who stuck around were in for a real treat, as Long Island-based REVEL 9 had made their way to the Valley for the occasion. It was my first time seeing the hard rockers — unbelievable, considering their song, “All I’ve Become,” has been my podcast’s theme song for two years — and they did not disappoint! With blazing guitars, REVEL 9 presented songs off of its two albums, “The Razorblade Diaries” and “The Reality Crush,” as well as unreleased tracks and a couple of well-timed covers. Frontman DJ Pearlman even stuck around afterwards to give CDs to the kids who had stayed to rock out, ensuring a love of music in the next generation.

With the day in the books, there was a good feeling in the air. It was one of gratitude, and of a unity through music. Thanks to The Fyre & Ice Show for including us, and for putting the day’s great lineup together.

A Night on Northampton Street

Oh, Easton. You always give me more than I bargain for.

My night began a hair after 8 p.m. when, after I found parking just off the circle, I walked over to Connexions Gallery to catch Shawn Cav Ensemble’s latest performance. I was surprised, then, when I walked into the gallery to find it empty, except for a couple of pets and, of course, the artwork hanging throughout the room.

As I wandered back, I noticed the sound of Dan DeChellis’ keyboard getting louder. I then stumbled upon a back room leading to an outside courtyard which, lo and behold, was the venue for this evening’s performances.

I have to say, I really dig this performance space. It has a summer night’s ambiance which was enhanced by the tunes being brought forth on this muggy night. I arrived for a few selections of DeChellis’ piano mastery to open the evening before things changed over to Shawn Cav Ensemble.

The Ensemble, as always, brought its best, performing a mix of selections off of its new album, “Glass Houses,” as well as some unreleased tunes. I always find myself blown away by saxophonist Matt Truscott in particular, whose improv ability is some of the best you’ll find in the Valley or elsewhere.

After a while, I looked at my phone to find that it was 9:30. Admittedly, the Bayou-style humidity had me feeling a bit sluggish, and my ill feeling was probably compounded by the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything since meeting my sister at Mesa for lunch earlier in the day. Realizing that my busy schedule had kept me from sustenance for much of the evening, I decided to address that, moving onto the next stop: Two Rivers Brewing Company, where LVU’s fellow Mega Power Dustin Schoof was playing with his acoustic duo, Blue Jean.

I walked uphill for a few blocks, deciding too late that driving would have been a better option, to join Blue Jean mid-set. Upon arriving, I found out two things:

  • Acoustic Kitty Project was playing just down the street at Porters’ Pub.
  • The kitchen at Two Rivers closes at 10 p.m., and it was 9:52.

Upon hearing that second point, I quickly grabbed a menu and ordered the first thing that caught my eye – a buffalo chicken flatbread that, as it turned out, was bangin’. I wolfed that down alongside glass after glass of water – yes, I went to a brewery, and all I drank was water – as I enjoyed a mix of covers and originals from Blue Jean. I also briefly caught up with Dustin for a few minutes, discussing things that only we Mega Powers would understand… for now. #foreshadowing

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After hanging out at Two Rivers for a while, I settled up and decided that I WASN’T. FINISHED. YET! (I love doing that…)

I embarked on the next phase of the evening’s journey, walking a few blocks down (and further away from my car) to Porters’, where AKP was in the midst of an intimate trio show.

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As always, the music – another healthy mix of covers and originals – was on-point, but what stuck out to me even more at this stop were the conversations I had while I was there.

Talking to those in attendance, I realized that there is a great hope for our music scene, and a gratitude for the fact that things really seem to be coming together for everyone involved. Folks seem appreciative of the fact that people like Dustin and I provide meaningful, hyper-local media coverage of the Lehigh Valley’s true music scene – that is to say, the artists and people who make it what it is every single day.

It made me even more grateful to do what I do through Lehigh Valley Underground. The thing I’ve come to understand is that this scene has, for quite a while, been in need of a unifying force to connect the dots and help place emphasis on the hidden talent that is rampant throughout our region. It is an honor and a privilege to be one of the people to facilitate that, while getting to meet great people and enjoy the varied and many talents of this area’s performers multiple times per week.

As I said, I got more than I thought I would out of this night in Easton at the outset. Of course, I was expecting a nice time and some great tunes. That’s par for the course. In addition, however, I had a spring in my step. As I walked back to the car just after midnight, I knew that I had received another inspiring reminder of why we do what we do at LVU.

PHOTOS: The Moondogs Howl at SteelStacks

While I was at SteelStacks for Slingshot Dakota’s album release show (photos coming soon!), I was asked on Facebook to pop outside and spend some time with The Moondogs. I’m glad that I did!

The five-piece band played on the ArtsQuest Center’s outdoor TD Community Stage on a beautiful Friday night, peppering in originals with jukebox hits from some of the greatest eras in popular music history.

The folks in attendance had their dancing shoes on well into the night for The Moondogs. We look forward to hanging with them again soon!